How to Buy a Convection Toaster Oven the Right Way

Cuisinart-Toaster-Oven-3Really think about this for a moment, what do you want to get out of a convection toaster oven?

Just imagine for a moment that you are at home and want to cook something. What will you most likely cook? How many people will you cook for? What serving size are you going to prepare?

Before you start trying to sort through the avalanche of appliance websites offering Cuisinart convection toaster ovens, you need to critically think about how you will use one of these ovens. By thinking about your lifestyle you can narrow your list of potential selections to a very focused few that will best meet your needs.

What is your Desired End Result?

As you begin to think about what you will be cooking, imagining how your food will a be after the cooking process can help find the options and features that will deliver the best result. For instance, if you want a pizza that has the cheese melted in the center without burning the edges or the crust then convection cooking is the right place to start. A temperature sensing feature could also help you get a dish that is more evenly cooked the dish.

L11890744Easy to Clean?

If you’re like me then you will want to spend the least amount of time possible on the clean up. Having built-in features such as a removable bottom plate can really save time and make clean up a breeze.

Sizing it Up

Notice how the way you intend to use something will dictate its size and functions? By thinking of the serving size and a number of people you will be cooking for you will be able to judge the best interior capacity. The food you will be cooking will highlight the need for particular methods of heating such as baking, broiling, or convection air circulation.

Buy the Best Convection Toaster Oven

Now that you’ve begun to think of your problem in the reverse direction, you’ll be surprised to discover how easy it is to find the best convection toaster oven for you. Now you just need to now the easiest place to find it. A great place to find what you’re looking for is at a site that has already been through the process and will make it easy for you to get the results you want.

Find the right Cuisinart convection toaster oven

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Cuisinart TOB-40 Toaster Oven Review

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Among mid-priced toaster ovens, there is one that stands out from the rest – the Cuisinart TOB-40.  This Cuisinart toaster oven is a customer favorite and was the #1 best seller on Amazon for a long time until the Black & Decker TO1332SBD came out.  If you are looking for a well-made toaster oven that toasts and cooks well, doesn’t take up a lot of counter space, and is simple to use, we think you’ll be quite happy with the Cuisinart TOB-40.

Features and Specifications

  • 1800 watt toaster oven
  • Dimensions: 16.29″ x 14.63″ x 8.86″
  • Convection: No
  • Slice capacity: 4-6 slices
  • Stainless Steel front with easy grip dials and cool touch handle
  • Always Even™ Shade Control monitors the temperature and adjusts the timing to consistently toast to the shade selected every time!
  • Automatic slide-out rack for hands-free loading and easy removal of cooked foods
  • Easy-clean nonstick interior
  • Functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake and Broil
  • Automatic shut off safety feature
  • Front access removable crumb tray
  • Includes: broiling rack, baking/drip pan, wire rack and instruction/recipe booklet
  • Polarized 2 prong plug

If you have done any research on toaster ovens under $100 you will then know that most of them come with many negative reviews.  The Cuisinart TOB-40, however, is one of the few toaster ovens under $100 that doesn’t come with any serious complaints.  77% of customers gave this toaster oven a rating of 4 or 5 stars, and the overall ratings would have been much higher if it weren’t for a minor complaint that we will cover later

Aesthetics

The Cuisinart TOB-40 has a simple but clean two-toned look.  The exterior is black with the front panel stainless steel.  Most people liked this look, but a few would have preferred to have seen it be completely stainless steel.

The TOB-40 is also a really nice size.  It will fit perfectly below your upper cabinets and won’t take up too much counter space.  It is also large enough to satisfy a good majority of your cooking needs, but probably not large enough to act as a second/replacement oven.  To give a better perspective of the size, the TOB-40 can toast 4 bagel halves, bake an 11-inch pizza, or cook two big open-faced sandwiches.

Toasting & Cooking

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With 1800 watts of power, this toaster oven heats up fast.  It comes with two heating elements on both the bottom and the top, and most customers felt the TOB-40 did an excellent job of toasting and baking their food evenly.

On the toast setting, both elements heat equally so that the toast comes out nicely browned on both sides and with no drying out the bread.

Something that makes the Cuisinart TOB-40 different from other toaster ovens is that it has a unique feature called always even™ shade control, which monitors the temperature and adjusts the timing to consistently toast to the shade selected every time.  Therefore, you can essentially just set and forget the toaster oven and it will produce perfect toast for you every time.

For the bagel setting, the top elements throw off more heat so that the top of the bagel comes out crisp and browned while the bottom comes out less crispy.

For baking, customers reported that the oven heats up exactly to the temperature indicated on the temperature dial and works just fine.  The only gripe people had been that the TOB-40 doesn’t have a timer for the bake/cook option.  Therefore, to get around this most purchased an inexpensive stand alone cooking timer.

Using the Cuisinart TOB-40

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The Cuisinart  TOB-40 is your classic toaster oven.  It doesn’t have the fancy digital controls or the convection fan feature, but many actually prefer this simple style of a toaster oven.  It’s user-friendly and has 3 large rubberized easy grip dials that work as follows:

  • The 1st dial sets the function: Toast, Bagel, Bake, or Broil.
  • The 2nd dial sets the temperature – up to 450°.
  • The 3rd dial sets the shade of the toast.

Making toast is as easy as 1 2 3

  1. Simply set the function dial to toast.
  2. Choose a toast shade (there is room to adjust the darkness).
  3. Press the start/stop button.

When it has finished the toast cycle, the TOB-40 will beep 5 times to let you know the food is done and will automatically shut off.  Moreover, there is no constant ticking sound, which so many people find annoying with other toaster ovens.  You can also leave the toast setting exactly where you like it so there is no need to reset it every time.  Overall, customers really liked the simplicity of how the toast function worked.

The Cuisinart TOB-40 is also incredibly easy to clean with its front access slide-out crumb tray and nonstick interior.  The crumb tray covers the entire bottom of the toaster oven so there is no worrying about crumbs getting under the tray.  And if something gets on the inside walls of the unit, it is easy to wipe clean due to its nonstick coating.

Another convenient feature the TOB-40 has is that the rack slides out when the door opens, which makes placing and removing food a lot easier.  Some wished, however, that the rack slid out a little more and that the oven turned off while the door was open.

Also, the door has a solid plastic handle that stays cool to the touch and unlike the Cuisinart TOB-155 or the Cuisinart TOB-195, which both have a design flaw where the metal strip behind the handle gets very hot, the TOB-40 is safe to open and there’s no need to worry about unwanted burns when opening the door.

Accessories

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The Cuisinart TOB-40 comes with a broiling rack, a baking/drip pan, a wire rack, a slide out crumb tray, and an instruction/recipe booklet.  The racks and pans are pretty standard and similar to what you would find with other toaster ovens.

Customer Wishes & Complaints

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The biggest reason customers failed to give the TOB-40 a higher rating was due to its lack of timer for the bake/broil function.  This sentiment was felt primarily by people who use the bake or broil function a lot, but most were able to get past this by using a cooking timer instead.

Although this Cuisinart toaster oven is easy to use, many did comment that the font size indicating the function or temperature setting could have been increased to make it easier to read. Also, like with most toaster ovens, many people reported that the toaster oven gets hot.  This is a very common complaint found with most toaster ovens, though.  Just take the same precautions as you would with any other toaster oven, like leaving some space around the toaster oven and handling it carefully and everything will be fine.

Summary of the Cuisinart TOB-40

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The Cuisinart TOB-40 is a great classic toaster oven.  If you are looking for a quality made, but simple to use a toaster oven that does what it is supposed to do – toast and bake well – this one would be an excellent option.

Yes, it doesn’t come with a timer for baking, but this can be easily solved by using any other kind of timer.  And if this is really the only serious complaint people have with the TOB-40, considering other toaster ovens that are plagued with issues such as poor toasting or burning food, glass doors cracking, handle areas getting hot enough to cause burns, and control knobs or panels breaking, we think it is very minor when compared to those other more serious issues just mentioned.

Pros

  • Toasts excellently – probably the best at this price point
  • Simple to use
  • Automatic eject rack for placing/removing food easily
  • Front access slides out crumb tray for easy cleaning
  • Auto shut off
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • No timer for the bake/broil function
  • Small font size on knobs